Residents of Hermosa Beach, California, are worried a rash of new tattoo parlors are going to class down the neighborhood.
A group of concerned citizens is fighting tooth and nail -- with fliers, petitions, newspaper ads, you name it -- to block the proliferation of tattoo studios around town out of fear that it might be detrimental to the community. As one resident explained (get ready for the best quote ever):
We are going to have six or seven tattoo parlors in a 2-square-mile city -- and we only have two supermarkets ... This is going to be a playground for the element of people that live that style. We believe that will bring problems.
Hmmm ... exactly what "style" is he talking about do you suppose?
To be fair (and to qualify that quote), this particular group of residents maintains that they're not against people with tattoos or even, for that matter, tattooing in general. They say they simply want to increase regulations on the businesses -- limit hours of operation, put in place more stringent health codes, etc. Which seems reasonable until you consider the fact that the fight to block new tattoo parlors in Hermosa Beach has been going on for a long, long time. In fact, the city even had an ordinance outlawing tattoo studios; six months ago it was struck down by a federal appeals court on the grounds that tattooing was a constitutionally protected right.
Yet, these residents will not be deterred! Here's another explaining why he's trying so hard to block new tattoo studios:
We understand that tattoo parlors have to exist ... But there are restrictions that the City Council can adopt. We want the City Council to be protective of the residents and of our property values.
There's a fine line between restrictions that are good for the community and restrictions that make it impossible for tattoo artists to be profitable. I'm not sure tattoo advocates are confident that this group is on the side of the former.
Would you want a tattoo parlor in your neighborhood?
Image via ninahale/Flickr